With World Cup victory in Brazil all but assured, England have hired a psychologist to ensure players don't get carried away, says Back of the Net's John Foster...
Dr Steve Peters, who has previously helped Ronnie O’Sullivan and Chris Hoy cope with their success, has been brought in by manager Roy Hodgson to prepare England’s stars for the avalanche of praise that is certain to come their way after they triumph in the Maracanã in July.
He joins a squad brimming with self-belief, with fans wondering not so much whether England will lift the trophy as how their idols will remain humble and levelheaded after they do.
He told FourFourTwo: “England teams of the past have spent a lot of time thinking about how they will win tournaments. Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about that.”
“But just because an English victory is certain, that doesn’t mean our players should wave their medals in the faces of their Spanish, Brazilian and Italian rivals,” he continued. “It is unthinkable that a player like Wayne Rooney should start acting like entitled throbber.”
Hodgson himself is sanguine about his post-World Cup-winning prospects. He said: “I may or may not get a peerage, but I’m not going to make a fuss about where my statue goes, or whether it’s made of gold or marble. At the moment I’m only thinking about a knighthood, followed by the pick of jobs in world football.
“All I know is that Liverpool will be begging me to come back, and I’ve got unfinished business there.”